Sophia Schönborn is a NRW School of Governance/AICGS Fellow and just finished her Master’s Degree studies at the NRW School of Governance, which is part of the Institute for Political Science of the University of Duisburg-Essen (Germany). After her fellowship at the AICGS she is will be a research assistant at the Institute for the Advanced Study in the Humanities (Essen, Germany) where she will study innovative projects that are focused on mitigation or adaptation at the local level.

Ms. Schönborn’s key focal points during her studies were the involvement of German political foundations in transatlantic relations, political communication processes, and governmental studies, as well as elections and election campaigns in Germany. During her studies, she was an intern at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP in Berlin) and at ThyssenKrupp (Duisburg, Germany). She also helped to organize the Trilateral Seminar in Warsaw (Poland) for the German Foreign Ministry and the University of Erfurt and worked as a student assistant at the Institute for Political Science of the University of Duisburg-Essen and the University of Hagen (Germany).

Project Description:
The aim of Ms. Schönborn’s research is to examine American experiences in dealing with climate change at the local level and determine which lessons might be transferable to the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. While at AICGS, Ms. Schönborn will study projects which are focused on adaptation to the negative effects on climate change at the local/regional/and county levels in the U.S. More specifically, she will determine:

how these (pilot) projects were started and the motivation behind them
how resources were provided for these projects
the extent of cooperation between local government and local companies
how each side communicated their issues
were there any bandwagon effects
how successful these projects were